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ammo ammunition COVID-19 pandemic range reloading SHTF year 2020

Problems of the Gun Owner During The Covid-19 Pandemic

There’s one thing that really sucks about this pandemic isn’t just the fact that folks are dying.  It’s that folks can’t practice self defense (unless they’ve their own land, of course…most folks don’t).

What’s hindering folks from visiting ranges or even practicing on their own land?  The availability and costliness of ammunition, for one.  When you can find ammo, it is sometimes double the price of pre-pandemic ammo.  I’ve found some decently priced ammo, but it is become rare now.  When I find decently priced ammo, I usually buy what I can.

The type of ammo also dictates how much you’re going to spend if you need it.  An example is, I bought 250 rounds of 9mm practice ammo a month or two ago, for maybe $135 (yes, that’s a deal nowadays).  This week, I wanted to try to find some .45ACP ammo (because I conceal carry an XD45 and needed practice) and the lowest price I could find was $1/round!  So, I may switch to carrying my XD9 instead to save costs in practicing (I’ve a large stash of 9mm ammo, too).

I also find myself always worrying about over-consuming my ammo for the sake of practicing.  At first, I tried to delay practicing and went through most of 2020 without visiting the range.  When I finally started practicing, I was so worried about shooting too much ammo that I was counting every round I shot.

Can you buy ammo at the range?  I don’t know.  I suppose it would depend on how stocked your range would be, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that ammo was marked up (because range owners and employees have to eat too).  When I was last at the range (maybe 3 weeks ago), I didn’t ask and didn’t look.

Aside from that, I found that practicing with a mask (a requirement of the range that I’m a member of, which I have no problem with) is a bit bothersome but doable.

Another question would be, in times like these, should a person reload?  The answer should be yes, but some folks don’t have the aptitude to reload.  Some folks don’t have the time and can’t spend the money to buy the equipment.  Also, some folks do not have the aptitude for such things.  There’s also the current problem of shortages of reload materials (primers or projectiles or even powder).

I won’t mention prepping because most folks with guns nowadays don’t deeply prep.  Most people don’t associate gun owners with hardcore prepping, but what about prepping ammo?  There’s no hard fact regarding how much ammo a person should stash away for SHTF situations, but we’re not even talking SHTF.  We’re talking Covid-19.  Unless things take a drastic turn for the worse, this pandemic will not spawn any SHTF situation.  So, how much ammo should a person have on-hand at all times in pandemic situations?  My answer:  enough to use for self defense and practice.  I’ve at least 1K of 9mm right now, which should last me a while for practicing, if I practice every other month and limit my practice round count to 150 rounds or so, and while also consuming ammo when training; I’d be buying 9mm when I see it on sale at decent prices in an effort to replace what I used during practice.

Also, note that in the past year, many folks bought firearms when they’d never owned one.  Those folks want/need ammo too.  I’ve seen many disgruntled “veteran” gun owners grumbling that folks are buying ammo and raising the cost of it now, when they should’ve prepared (prepped) before now.  Well, how can you prep ammo if you weren’t interested in firearms?  It’s a very stupid reason to be disgruntled, in my opinion.  Be glad that we’ve new gun owners to bolster our numbers.  Those same grumbling gun owners used to not own guns.  We ALL started with no (or small amounts of) ammo.

What problems have you experienced or noticed regarding owning a gun or practicing at ranges during this pandemic?

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ammo ammunition BPT Browning BXP flat-nosed FMJ JHP

What’s the Purpose of Flat-nosed FMJ?

I wanted to quickly mention that with some makes of ammo (ie, Browning or Winchester), you see flat-nosed and JHP.  Most people think flat-nosed is for guns that have issues feeding reliably (vs. JHP, which can sometimes jam a gun such as a 1911).  That’s not always the case, though.

I’ll use Cabelas’ ammo description of Browning Performance Target (BPT) ammo as a reference:

  • Same bullet wt. and velocity as BXP Personal Defense Ammo
  • Provides the same feel at the range as self-defense ammo
  • Black-nickel shell plating improves reliability and feeding

Confidence at the range corresponds to confidence in self-defense situations. Browning’s Performance Target Pistol Ammo provides the same performance as BXP Personal Defense Ammo. Matched-performance ammo has the same bullet weight and velocity so you get the exact same feel at the range as you will in real-life situations with your BXP Ammo at a lower cost. Created with the highest standards of innovation, precision and technology. Black-nickel shell plating improves reliability and feeding.

There’s a product that matches this ammo, only it’s JHP. They’re meant to compliment each other:

Notice that the above rounds are JHP.  The first depicted box of ammo is FMJ but shares the same bullet weight as the JHP product and has the same velocity as well.  The FMJ is meant for the range (practicing/training).  The personal defense ammo (the JHP) is meant for defense — you can train with it but it is not cheap and is sold in a box of 20 (vs the 50 of the FMJ).  The FMJ mimics the JHP ammo (it’s nose is flat to mimic JHP).  It’s bullet weight and velocity is the same so that you can train as if you were using the JHP variant of this ammo.  This is ideal, instead of having to spend a lot of money training with your defense ammo.

Winchester also uses the same scheme.  I think that’s pretty cool, but wanted to inform folks of this, in case they’re not aware.

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ammo ammunition Cabelas Dicks magazines P220 SP2022 Walmart

My Magazines Have Arrived!

A few days ago, Cabelas had an online-only Sig Sauer magazine sale…$22.49 for each magazine in stock.  Since Sig mags tend to be expensive (running around $50 each), I decided to get three to augment what my P220 came with.  It came with 2 x 8-round magazines.  I bought 1 x 8-round mag and 2 x 10-round magazines.  Note that this sale ended yesterday.

They arrived this afternoon and I immediately cracked them open and loaded them with rounds so that they’d break-in.  I also marked all five magazines (I numbered them), in case I needed to track mag failures.  Of the five, I loaded one with my Hornady JHP 185-grain rounds (which reminds me…I need to find an outdoor range so that I can test the JHP to ensure the gun will shoot them.

I also ordered 2 x 15-round magazines for my Sig Sauer SP2022 9mm that hasn’t arrived yet.  This is the gun that people have a difficult time finding mags for, so I wanted to take advantage of the sale…once I saw that they had them in stock, I ordered two.  The SP2022 only comes with one magazine, so I probably needed to get extras anyways.  I haven’t bought 9mm ammo yet…I’ll buy a box or two of FMJ and a box of JHP in 9mm when I pick up the gun from the FFL.  I marked these mags, too.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to go shooting this weekend and try out the new gun and extended P220 mags.

My next project will be to find an online store where I can order ammo in bulk, to cut costs.  I buy my ammo from Dicks since they’ve been having holiday sales, but I think I can do better by buying online.  I’d check Walmart but I’ve never been able to get someone to help me in the firearms section.  :/